It has to be dead quiet when I write. Why? Because inside my head it gets so Very LOUD. Any outside noise is not only distracting, it's just too much. Thing is, when the writing stops - even for the briefest moment - to switch out the laundry (such a glamorous life) or answer the phone, it becomes scary obvious how quiet it is in my outside world. The interruption is so jarring, I yearn to turn on the radio, a tv, something to create noise.
And every time, when I return to my writing, it takes me a while to crawl back into my head. That place where it's loud. Where all my influences merge together with music, sounds, smells, and atmosphere and place me in the thick of my story.
I call it 'circling like a dog.' It used to take days to get back into my stories, but I've gotten better. Now it takes a matter of minutes (or a break to write a blog post). But it does feel like I inhabit two universes. One is very quiet, and one is Very LOUD.